On the role of attentional inhibition and memory during visual search.
Although humans have limited memory and visual processing capacity, they are capable of finding partly specified targets in complex and dynamic environments. Nowadays there is much need for such effective artificial searchers (for example in military, security and medical image processing). The way the human brain keeps track of inspected items may inspire designers of artificial systems. The role of inhibition of return (putative attentional memory) and the role of memory in visual search in general are discussed. Based on two eye movement studies we conclude that humans use a smart scanning strategy rather than explicit memory to avoid previously inspected locations. Such strategies could be useful in artificial systems that operate in environments that change frequently.
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